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How to Find IT Talent That Isn't Looking for You

Apr 13 , 2016

Looking for IT talent is getting increasingly difficult.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find quality candidates for some IT jobs, especially positions that involve specialized skills and certifications that only a small number of people have obtained. The talent shortage in the IT field is only expected to get worse over the next ten years as demand for technology grows faster than IT professionals are trained.

One answer to the IT talent shortage is sometimes called poaching talent from competitors, which takes place when recruiters or hiring managers actively recruit a candidate who is already employed and not actively looking for a new job. Recruiting talent from another company can be a delicate process, and there are some particular ways that it's best to go about it.

Use Professional Networks

Before recruiting someone who works at one of your competitors, it is wise to use your professional networks to let it be known that your company wants to hire for a particular position. It will seem more like casting a net than using a baited hook if you have made your needs known publicly. You may also find other quality candidates this way, so it's always a positive step when looking to hire.

To find the best IT talent, companies may need to look at those already employed.

Approach on a Neutral Location

If you do decide to approach a specific person with an offer, it's best to do so in a neutral location such as a professional conference or Chamber of Commerce meeting. If you come on too strongly or aggressively, it's likely to backfire and scare your potential hire away.

It's best to avoid recruiting talent from among your business partnerships and from your personal friends as well. No talent is worth ruining important business relationships or friendships, even if you assure them that it's not personal. Think about how you would feel if a friend or colleague poached talent from you. Even if you could separate recruiting from the professional or personal relationship, that's no guarantee others could do the same.

Beware of Non-Compete Agreements

Some employees of other companies will have a non-compete agreement in place, stating that they cannot work for a competitor for a certain period of time after leaving the company. Be sure to ask any candidates whether a non-compete agreement is in place before recruiting them. Violating these agreements can bring about lawsuits against the employee and you.

Hire Help

Sometimes delicate situations like recruiting employees from other companies are best handled by a third party such as a recruiter. Using a recruiter gives you some distance from the situation and most recruiters will be purposely vague until they can be sure that the candidate is interested.

Be Sure You Know What You're Getting

If you can, you should check out the candidate you plan to recruit to make sure they are a quality employee and have the skills you need. It's not worth going to all the trouble and risk of recruiting an employee from another company if they are going to bring problems along with them.

Contact us if you need help recruiting IT talent, even talent that isn't looking for you.